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 Cyber Centurion 2015

Doing something on the side is something every student should get into – Cyber Centurion is just one of these activities. It has nothing to do with the curriculum, and won’t help much towards your next exam, but it’s great fun that will look brilliant on the C.V. one day. Grades are only half the story, after all.

The UK Cyber Centurion is an opportunity for logical thinking to demonstrate our knowledge of digital security, and to do so we formed our own teams of 4-6 people. I’m in year 13 and teamed up with 3 other students from my class. We even get to choose a team name, and after about 2 minutes “Octan” was chosen. Our task was to take a computer operating system sent to us by Cyber Centurion, and find all the viruses, vulnerabilities and security holes we could; from something as simple as setting a password, to finding and eradicating viruses and spyware.

While many students may balk at the idea of going in on a TD day, it was very much worth it. This was a practise round, so there wasn’t any pressure on us at all, and since it was our first nobody knew what to expect! Since my team is all year 13, we had a bit more experience up our sleeve than other groups, and we gained a nice lead over the next few hours, getting to around 64/100 points. It was a competition, and we weren’t going to give up our secrets!

…And then we changed our mind. This is a practise round, so after a nice lunch break where we all went into town and bought things that aren’t quite considered healthy, we started chatting with the other teams. By this point we had all pretty much reached a standstill, as nobody knew how to gain the last few marks, so what was a heated competition turned into a class-wide chat where we sorted through ideas on the whiteboard and gave pointers on how to fix certain issues.

After all this, every team in the room ended up with 75 points. There were still a few more security holes that nobody was able to find, but this was just the first try – It’ll be interesting to see what the competition throws our way.

This is something I was asked to write, and I thought hey, it would make a good enough blog post!

Published on Wednesday 4 November 2015 by Elvin Luff